With UTD’s many efforts to expand the arts on campus, now is the perfect time for STEM-oriented students to take on a creative project.
At UTD, over 60% of the student body — more than 19,000 students — belongs to STEM schools. Our school culture does not encourage students to participate in creative endeavors, especially when it’s so easy to go to class, return home and leave it at that. But there is more to college than just studying.
Art is for everyone, even STEM students, who could especially benefit from pursuing a creative endeavor. A great place to start is right on campus, with opportunities in both clubs and electives. Groups like the Sculpture Club for visual art, Between the Lines for reading and Bujo Buddies for bullet journaling are great possibilities. Art is important for well-roundedness and can contribute to self-fulfillment, improved mental health and overall happiness. Art’s uniqueness lies in its ability for limitless expression, which can add a sense of variety to your life.
Students might find it daunting to pursue a creative activity when skill is overly valued nowadays and they feel like newbies. However, skill is actually one of the least important things when it comes to creativity. Passion is the fuel of art, and every human is capable of it.
Experience isn’t important either — you don’t need any preexisting skills to take up a form of art. You can choose something completely unrelated to what you study or are familiar with as a welcome break from daily life. If you haven’t taken up a form of art, consider this: are you simply uncomfortable with the idea of starting something unfamiliar? The challenge of doing something new is worthwhile and exciting.
You may find yourself saying you don’t have the time for creative pursuits when you have your studies to focus on. But surely you can spare 20 minutes. Art is far from a waste of time. In reality, skills you learn from creating art can be applied to school and work, as well as helping you connect with the world on a deeper level.
If you prefer to stick with the familiar, you can find art forms that build on existing skills. Are you athletic? Consider dancing with the student-led Spice Club or official Power Dancers team. Do you find yourself enjoying essays or writing assignments? Consider creative writing at the UTD Writing Center.
And the best time to start is right now. With ATEC and AHT merging and combining their resources, there is a strong epicenter for arts on campus. The Athenaeum, which will add the fourth largest Asian Art exhibit in the world to UTD, will include a new theater on campus for students to pursue physical art. Additionally, the Student Union will be creating more spaces for the expressive arts like dance studios. Most clubs at UTD are available year-round and are easy to join.
Whether you’re a well-seasoned artist or a complete newbie, now is the time to dip your feet into the arts. And who knows? You may be surprised at what you’re able to create.